Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Senior Collection: The Fashion Diaries Entry 6: Spring Semester, Final Classes, 2 and 3

Spring Semester is crunch time. It's the final semester leading up to the show and the final two courses related to the show you will be taking are Computerized Apparel Flat Pattern and Experimental Apparel Production.

These two courses are the most challenging in my opinion, and can only be taken the Spring semester of the show so you must do your work with extra care.

In Computerized, you will learn how to make patterns digitallyusing one of the industry design programs called TukaTech, and participate in a class project, or "mini collection," if you will, for the class that will be themed and separate from the show, presented at the beginning.

For this class you will work with a partner, and make a garment divvying up the work between you, following class guidelines and a theme that everyone agreed upon and voted prior.

When I took this class the theme the class picked was David Bowie, and we designed and coordinated garments and fabric ideas according to the theme and class. Me and my partner came up with a few outfit ideas along with the fabrics that we were planning to use, and each of us presented it to the class for approval, critique, and changes.


The outfit that ended up being approved for us was a textured blazer jacket, painted logo tee shirt, and disco ball pants. We decided that my partner would work on the jacket since it was her idea, me on the pants, and both of us would do the shirt if we had time.

I had fun in this class learning how to do patterns digitally, although I cringe at doing computer tasks, and it was fun coming up with the craziest "groovy" designs possible to suit the theme. Honestly the theme we picked was definitely not something that I would probably do on my own, because I tend to not really like crazy or silly styles, but it was fun to work outside of my comfort zone and collaborate with a partner and see what we could come up with.

Overall our class collaboration was a success and everyone really enjoyed our Bowie Tribute.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Senior Collection: The Fashion Diaries Entry 5: Next challenge, Freestyles, Anything you wish (almost)

After the completion of the Draping course in your Fall Semester, next comes Winter Break, a magical time filled with holiday magic and endless amounts of, limited, sewing space.

Your next challenge will be to complete a certain number of optional Freestyles, garments that can be anything of your choosing, 4 maximum, that will be included in your collection if approved, and exist to extend and streamline it, so the total number of school projects won't look so short and you can show more of your skills if you wish.

If you've planned and researched well, you should know about the details and inner workings of the show, so you could already start designing, making, or have some idea of what those 4 or less, or none if you wish, garments will be.

Take advantage of your time off and enjoy your holidays, and get to work!!

For my collection I really wanted to do some freestyles, but due to time constraints and the fact that I wouldn't be able to handle the workload if it were more than five garments, still need to fit the garments to a model after initial construction and coordinate/gather accessories etc, I decided not to do any and stick to the school projects.

It's an abhorrent reality, disappointing and depressing, especially after I spent so much time at school and worked so hard learning everything, but a reality nonetheless, and with how everything is right now I need to stick with something I can handle. This collection definitely won't be the last time I ever make anything, or even perhaps, be in a show, so until then I need to try my best to pull through.

Is fashion design for me? It still doesn't look like it right now, but it's going to be a struggle to motivate myself to graduate and complete the work I still have left to do until then. Let's hope everything works out.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Senior Collection: The Fashion Diaries Entry 4: Senior Year, First Class

It's the start of your SENIOR year!!!!! Everything that you've worked for is about to culminate in one glorious moment this year, and it's time to finally set things into action.

Along with the normal repertoire of GEs, general education classes, and other courses you've taken for your major, perhaps a part time job or two, one of the main challenges you're taking on right now is your Draping course, a course in which you learn how to design by draping fabric on a mannequin and making a pattern for a garment in that way, almost in reverse. Gone are paper patterns and slopers, stencils, thick paper patterns used as a starting point for making patterns using Flat Pattern methods; you've gone 3D!

What fun!! Your mission in this class is to make 2 project garments using draping methods, following class guidelines, and submit them for the show. It's the most hands on of all of the classes you've taken so far and getting up close and personal with fabric and your mannequin should be a lot of fun.

The first project we had to make was a corset design and I made the one above. I draped both the corset and the skirt on a mannequin, therapeutic sometimes but also you reach a point in experimenting where you're like, kill me, and experimented with dyeing fabric for the first time because they didn't have the color I was looking for for the skirt. It only came in cream and I really wanted black.

Because the fabric wasn't all the way synthetic, and it was cream, I thought it would be easy to dye it black using fabric dye specifically made for synthetics and boiling it for an extended period of time. Many hours later and looking like a witch using a hotpot stove in the backyard of my house, the color didn't stick as well as I thought it and I ended up with a purple skirt.

Saddening, and you would think I would be disappointed because the original plan failed, but I actually really liked the dark purple color and the contrast it made with the black top. It gave me an excuse to use color in my collection and have it still look dark and elegant:)

For the second project I designed an oriental looking top and rose shorts. This project was kind of a failure and ended up looking more like butterfly wings than inverted roses. It was a complicated design even though I loved it so much, and I had a lot of trouble draping it as I couldn't quite wrap my mind around the subject, but in the end I was quite satisfied with the design even though the last one didn't quite fit with my theme, and I think I'll just save it in my design bank and fiddle with it later.

Overall draping was an amazing experience. Though extremely frustrating and stressful at times, it was fun and I learned a lot and developed a new respect for designers whose construction methods revolve mainly around this method. If you ever get the chance to make clothes and fiddle around with fabric and a mannequin, I highly recommend it. Asides from Couture though, draping is pretty complex.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Senior Collection: The Fashion Diaries Entry 3: It begins a year prior, Junior Year

At CSULB the way we run our senior fashion show, dubbed Campus Couture, is to have Senior fashion design students in the program work on a collection of a set number of garments over the course of their final year. To ease students into the design program and the challenge of what they are going to face in the future, the best sophomore students, added recently, and all of the junior students are allowed to submit one outfit of their own choosing for a class.

My junior year I took Advanced Flat Pattern, and that was the class that I was allowed to make one outfit design, approved by a professor and following certain class guidelines, for a final project and submit it to the show as part of the "Rising Star" or "Next Up," class category for the ones who would be doing their collection the following year. You were expected to learn all the basics and hone your skills while knowing enough to make the outfit you wished to craft at the conclusion of the class, using flat pattern techniques, provided you pass and get a C or above for the project you are planning to submit.

I made a dress and trench coat outfit and had a wonderful experience easing my way into the basics of putting your work into a show. I learned a lot and discovered what it was like to sketch, create paper patterns, make a muslin, test garment made out of cheap fabric or fabric of close feel and weight to what you were planning to use for your design, how to alter that muslin to achieve my desired perfect fit, record those changes onto my paper pattern, make another muslin or repeat the process if you wish or if there's time, crazy, construct the garment itself, and finally, pick a model and fit the garment to their body so it looks presentable and ready for the show.

That is only a small slice of the things you have to do in order to be in a fashion show, but it sums up the basics for fashion designers. In addition the less important things you need to manage are coordinating/acquiring the right accessories, what would you do without shoes?, if you're lucky there will be an accessory or shoe sponsor for the show, pick the right hair/makeup for your model day of, usually done by a team of in training makeup artists, pick music if allowed, iron/steam your garment, and attend model auditions in order to pick the right model for your vision.

My junior year was a great introduction to all the chaos, and I really liked what I made, despite the fact that going into the program I'd never touched a sewing machine before. The end result turned out pretty well, and I was happy to still have that, my paper pattern so I could make another one of the outfit or change/perfect it more if I wanted in the future, and souvenirs from a photo shoot I did with one of my models, not one of my first model unfortunately because I didn't think to do that before I prepared for the show, PS: NEVER forget to do a photoshoot with your model so you have sample pictures of your work!, so I used another one later on, but it turned out pretty well.

My Original Model, Campus Couture

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

And we go on.

I live for sunsets on the freeway
the way the sky crests
orange red and blue
over the 405 605 and 22 west

A feeling of limitless possibility
sign from "a god I don't believe in"
wrapped up in human problems
drowning so


it seems, that the sky spoke.

"No need to worry!"
Need something to live for?

Look at the sky-

Nighttime at the beach
being out when the entire world sleeps
music in my ears
good books, rainy days...

road trips
camping under starry nights

The feeling of acknowledgement
from strangers I would usually ignore
don't approach them first

put in scary effort to reply
outside looking like nothing is wrong
inside not quite as strong

still, all of this
gives me a reason to exist.